Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

SiTEM - African Groundwater

SiTEM – A transient electromagnetic solution to optimized well-siting


For communities with limited access to surface water, or where surface water is seasonal and/or contaminated, a groundwater solution to satisfying safe drinking water needs is ideal. The challenge with groundwater is that this resource is often difficult to locate, especially in data-poor regions – regions with little to no available information about local hydrological systems. As a result, it is common that wells are drilled that fail to intercept safe water sources. Therefore, it is imperative that wells be drilled in locations with the highest likelihood of success. The outstanding question is, how can these locations be identified in a rapid, cost-efficient manner?

SiTEM proposes that a towed-transient electromagnetic system, called tTEM, can help optimize well-siting. The tTEM system can be cheaply mobilized to provide comprehensive 3D of local hydrogeological systems in short field campaigns. Insights gained from the tTEM survey provide invaluable information to help drillers locate the most attractive borehole sites. In SiTEM, the tTEM well-siting framework is showcased at a number of communities and refugee camps in Tanzania, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

  • Poul Due Jensen Foundation
  • Water Mission Tanzania
  • JGAfrika Consulting, South Africa
  • University of the Free State, South Africa
  • United Nations Refugee Agency